Tomorrow is my last day of work. This day, above probably anything else, is the finale of my life here. In this sweet little city of Milwaukee.
Although this is my third cross-country move, I’ll tell you something. It doesn’t make it any easier.
Excitement for a daring adventure veers sharply into bittersweet. Every place, every face, every little thing that I’ve known for the past handful of years molds reluctantly into a memory…the lasts.
The last time I will walk the familiar route to work, turning up my music to cover the traffic noise and glancing quickly down that one alley to avoid being run over by a delivery truck.
The last time I will smile at the security guard at work who says “Good Morning” in his sing-song voice like he’s part of a Barbershop Quartet. Maybe he is on the side. I don’t even know his name.
The last time I will buy a small latte from Carmen at the corner cafe. She’s always smiling, because she’s one of those rare people who enjoys her job and her life.
The last time I will walk the endless hallways of my office, passing people I know and will never see again, and those I don’t know and will never know.
The last time I will swipe my badge at an entrance before I surrender it forever. Even with that silly picture on it, I will miss it. It was the one accessory I always had to wear, my identification with a place I spent more time in than I did at home.
Each day has been filled with lasts. With amazing friends and family in some of our most beloved places in the city.
Nearly five years ago I moved to Milwaukee without ever having seen it before. What I will remember most about coming here was how lost I was at the time.
And through that confusion, I found myself.
I began teaching dance again, then later, through a life-changing emotional and physical test, I obtained my Yoga certification. And finally, after hiding from it all of those years, I had the courage to become a writer.
Even though I was a foreigner in a strange land, I always felt welcomed by the community here. That comfort allowed me to return to who I wanted to be at my core.
There are a few more days of lasts to endure, and they will be the most trying of them all as we say goodbye to those closest to our hearts.
But, the firsts will be coming very soon. And though they cannot replace the lasts, they will open our eyes to different experiences.
We will grow, we will love, and we will live through it all.